Now that Disney owns Lucasfilm, and it’s become apparent that a new trilogy of Star Wars films has been in the works at least for a while, a number of questions are swirling around the production. One of the big ones is, how involved will creator George Lucas be in the process? Can we expect more Jar Jar Binks-ian hijinks, or perhaps an even deeper glimpse at the intricacies of intergalactic trade regulations? In a new interview, Lucas discusses what his role will be.
According to Lucas, his role will primarily be as “keeper of the flame.” Basically, he’s going to be involved in the scripting process, making sure that all of the action, characters, and scenarios fit within the rules and parameters of the Star Wars universe. He’s going to help fill in the some of the empty spots in the story treatment, and you can generally expect to see his influence all over the place in Michael Arndt’s (Toy Story 3) script.
Lucasfilm exec Kathleen Kennedy makes a point of differentiating these films from previously existing properties, like Harry Potter. These aren’t adaptations we’re talking about, these are new stories, not even revisited adventures from the litany of supplemental Star Wars reading material. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, from the books makes it into Episodes VII, VIII, and IX.
Even though Lucas says what he’s going to do, it’s still a vague answer. After watching this interview, which is largely dominated by Kennedy, you’re not entirely certain how big a part Lucas will play. A lot of people assume that this means he’s going to have a massive impact, that he’ll be able to assert his will in most, if not all, cases.
That’s not the impression this interview left me with, however. I’m sure he’s retained a fair amount of creative control and veto power, but there’s something about the way he comes across here, deferring to everyone else, not speaking a ton, that makes me wonder if his position is largely ceremonial.
Then again, perhaps this is just wishful thinking. Maybe my subconscious only hopes they took his hands off the reins so we don’t wind up with another Phantom Menace on our hands. No one wants that.